In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each a possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella, a fierce elemental, Katharine, a poisoner, and Arinsoe, a naturalist, must fight each other to the death. The night the sisters turn 16, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.
Pretty, popular Jasmine de los Santos receives a national scholar award invitation that compels her Filipino immigrant parents to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal, meaning no scholarships, maybe no college at all, and the very real threat of deportation. For the first time, Jasmine rebels, and her life is turned upside down by Royce Blakely, the charming son of a high-ranking congressman.
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter with a life of wealth and privileges. But between the social teas and dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life. Against her stern father's wishes, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
Tessa would do anything to escape the pressure-cooker she calls home. So she finds a shot of much-needed power and confidence by hooking up with boys, even though it means cheating on her boyfriend. Jack is a prankster who bucks the system every chance he gets --- each transgression getting riskier and riskier. He loves the thrill and each adventure allows a little release because his smug smile and suave demeanor in the face of authority doesn’t make life at home with his mom any less tough. He tries to take care of her, but the truth is he's powerless in the face of her fragile mental health.
When Jordie Bennet and Shaw Kinnard lock eyes across a disreputable backwater bar, something definitely sparks. But Shaw is there to kill her. As he and his partner take aim, Jordie is certain her time has come. Shaw has other plans, though, and abducts Jordie, hoping to get his hands on the $30 million her brother has stolen and, presumably, hidden. However, Shaw is not the only one looking for the fortune. Her brother's ruthless boss and the FBI are after it as well. Now on the run from the feds and a notorious criminal, Jordie and Shaw must rely on their wits --- and each other --- to stay alive.
Zoe Maisey is a 17-year-old musical prodigy with a genius IQ. Three years ago, she was involved in a tragic incident that left three classmates dead. She served her time, and now her mother, Maria, is resolved to keep that devastating fact tucked far away from their new beginning, hiding the past even from her new husband and demanding Zoe do the same. Tonight Zoe is giving a recital that Maria has been planning for months. But, by the end of the evening, Maria is dead. In the aftermath, everyone tries to piece together what happened. But as Zoe knows all too well, the truth is rarely straightforward, and the closer we are to someone, the less we may see.
Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion…and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more. Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile --- a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling. Nina soon discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home --- a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.
Seventeen-year-old Ivan Isaenko is a life-long resident of the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children in Belarus. For the most part, every day is exactly the same for Ivan, which is why he turns everything into a game, manipulating people and events around him for his own amusement. Until Polina arrives. She steals his books. She challenges his routine. The nurses like her. Soon, he cannot help being drawn to her, and the two forge a romance that is tenuous and beautiful and everything they never dared dream of. Before, he survived by being utterly detached from things and people. Now, Ivan wants something more: he wants Polina to live.
Lying at the bottom of his apartment stairs, a postman is found dead. At first glance, his death appears to be a simple fall, a straightforward accident and the perfect case for Detective Chief Superintendent Konrad Simonsen to return to after a severe heart attack. But when he is called to investigate, new forensic evidence comes to light and something doesn't add up. When life-size images of a girl are discovered plastering the walls of the dead man's attic, the case takes a new and sinister turn. Who is she? Could she be alive? Soon members of the homicide team find themselves delving into the past, but as they approach the truth, Simonsen discovers long-hidden skeletons in his own closet.
A 19th-century minister builds an elaborate motor that will bring about the Second Coming. A man with rough hands locks a boy in a room with an albino ape. An apocalyptic army falls under a veil of forgetfulness. The story of Red Riding Hood is run through a potentially endless series of iterations. A father invents an elaborate, consuming game for his hospitalized son. Indexes, maps and a checkered shirt buried beneath a blanket of snow are scattered through these pages as clues to mysteries that may never be solved. A TREE OR A PERSON OR A WALL brings together Matt Bell’s previously published shorter fiction, along with seven dark and disturbing new stories.